Younger people frequently want to talk about how they need to start preparing for retirement now. My first question would be, why are we so focused on something that’s 30 or 40 years away? Are you someone who wants to retire at 45? If you’re someone who wants to retire at 45, then you are your biggest money-maker. You are your biggest investment. Your intellect, your drive, your ability to understand value, your ability to capture that value in a cost-productive, cost-effective way--that’s what is going to really drive you. So, you need to be careful with blocking your money up in things that are for people who don’t have a goal to retire at 45, people who need financial investments to make their retirement in the future work. Wanting to retire at 45 makes you a different type of person, because you’re going to be thinking, “I need seed money, and I need feed money. Seed money to help find my businesses and to help be able to take advantage of the opportunities as they appear, and feed money to just take care of myself and my family. Make sure that life is what we want it to be as we’re pursuing these opportunities.”
As you work toward these retirement goals, however early you want to retire, you have to reflect and compare your choices to your values. You have your own concept of what it means to sacrifice, your own concept of what it means to suffer, and certainly everybody has sacrifice and suffering when they’re trying to accomplish a goal. As long as that concept of suffering and sacrifice is emotionally congruent with you, it’s something that resonates within you, then you know you’re on the right path. But when there’s no resonation, when you’re just wondering “what the heck am I doing?”, you’re probably on the wrong path. And we just need to stop, right there, and wait.
"You can’t copy anybody; you just need to figure out on your own, for yourself, what resonates with you. "
Remember when you were a little kid, and you’d go into a store, and your parent would say, “If you get separated from me, just stay right where you are--I will find you.” Right? Well, that’s what I think people need to do in their financial planning, that’s what they need to do in their future-based planning, whether it’s about retirement or whether it’s just about buying a house, or getting rid of debt, or whatever. If they don’t feel like they know what they’re doing, and they’re lost, then STOP. Stay right where you are, and let a professional find you. Let them help you, and help discover for you the right way to go. What’s the right thing to do? That’s going to be a different answer for everyone. If we had the same age person, if we had the exact same circumstances as far as what they arrived with at that spot--we’d have different answers for every single person because they have different values, they have different comfort levels, they have different ideas of what the future looks like. So we’re going to have a lot of different answers. You can’t copy anybody; you just need to figure out on your own, for yourself, what resonates with you. And when I say “figure it out on your own”, I don’t mean by yourself. I just mean that in the end, you have to decide. So let someone help you learn how to make a good decision, for you. We are going to help you learn to make a good decision. And you will know it’s a good decision. You won’t hope, you won’t think, you won’t guess it’s a good decision. You’ll know.